The Use Of Regression Analysis As Evidence In Litigating Tax-Related Issues

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B. Anthony Billings
D. Larry Crumbley


regression analysis, tax-related issues, litigation


Despite numerous published academic articles concerning the application of regression analysis as an accounting tool, its applicability as a tool in litigating tax matters has been largely ignored. This research documents the extent to which regression analysis has been used to adjudicate tax issues and points out conditions under which regression-based conclusions are considered legitimate evidence. A number of court decisions regarding federal income tax, state income tax and property taxes are reviewed to illustrate the extent to which regression analysis has been applied, its effectiveness, and implications for future adjudication of tax issues. Evidence from the reviewed court decisions indicates that regression analysis may be successfully used to uncover relevant facts, estimates or projections. However, the credibility of such evidence will depend on the observance of the underlying regression analysis assumptions and on the experts understanding of the phenomenon under study. The use of regression analysis to conduct legal analysis (for example, predicting the outcome of litigation) is of little utility in the courtroom.


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